Re: your question "Does this Walling family truly go back to Ralph and Joyce Wallen arriving on the sister ship of the Mayflower, The Anne?" I am not a professional genealogist, only an amateur enthusiast. However, I'll give you my opinion on this, for what it may be worth. In brief, my short answer to this question is that while it is possible that Thomas Walling of providence may have been Ralph Wallen's son or relative, I am not convinced of this.
I have seen numerous posts, emails, web-pages, etc., suggesting that Thomas Walling is related to or descended from the Ralph and Joyce Wallen who are listed as having been passengers on the ship Anne which arrived at Plymouth on July 10th, 1623. As a matter of fact, the number of people who seem to have accepted this assertion as true appears to be considerable. So much so, that it is generally regarded as common knowledge by many family history enthusiasts.
A transcription of the passenger list for the Anne and accompanying vessel, the Little James, appears on the RootsWeb web-site at
The site quotes John Camden Hotten, editor of "Emigrant Ancestors", who, in 1874, described the voyage thus: "The ship Anne arrived in Plymouth in July, 1623 accompanied by the Little James, bringing new settlers along with many of the wives and children that had been left behind in Leyden when the Mayflower departed in 1620." Listed as passenger #80 is Ralph Wallen. Passenger #81 is Joyce Wallen.
To illustrate the prolific nature of the "Ralph fathered Thomas" assertion, this very same web-page includes a contemporary correspondence from a person named Debra West, asserting that Ralph and Joyce "had a son, Thomas Walling before 1630." The basic problem is that while the passenger list is documented, the patrilineal connection between Ralph and Thomas is not substantiated by any direct evidence that I am aware of - not on this web-site nor in any other single web-site, book or article I have ever seen which deals with our family's genealogy.
So, to begin with, this discussion already carries with it a backdrop of a widely held, but unsubstantiated belief. This may be why the question has sometimes been addressed by some with a quasi-religious zeal. I once questioned a person who posted to another forum asking her what evidence she had found to substantiate that Ralph was Thomas's father. The reply was, basically, "Well, what evidence do you have that he wasn't?" Now how does one respond to such obtuse illogic? One could just as credibly assert that Ralph was the son of French King Henry IV and changed his name to Wallen before departing from Leyden. Of course there is absolutely no evidence of this. But, why let an absence of any factual basis prevent us from asserting all kinds of interesting things? While we're at it, why not just fabricate the whole thing all the way back to the Flintstones? It would sure save a lot of time and energy.
Fortunately for truth-seekers, there are diligent researchers who actually are interested in facts. So, if we want to address the Ralph question seriously, attention should be paid to respectable sources such as The American Genealogist and other such publications which carefully document their sources. Here are three articles that I have found helpful in understanding the issues surrounding Thomas Walling:
Rue, Eleanor Cooley, "Widow Joyce Wallen of Plymouth (1645) and Widow Joyce Lombard of Barnstable (1664). One and the Same?," The American Genealogist, Vol. 67, No. 1, January, 1992, pp. 47-53.
Saxbe, William, Jr., "Thomas Walling and His Way With Women," The American Genealogist, Vol. 73, No. 2, April, 1998, pp. 91-100.
Smith, Ethel Farrington, "John Jenkins of Barnstable, Massachusetts," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, October, 1995, pp. 339-359.
Also, there are a couple of unpublished reports by Edna Neuhauser that address this question. I'd be happy to send you a copy of them if you'd like.
Neuhauser, Edna E. Walling, "Walling of Rhode Island and New Jersey, Additions and Corrections to Statements in the Quarterly, Vol. 53 (1965):99 and Vol. 58 (1970):124", unpublished, ca. 1980.
________, "Which Thomas Walling of Providence, Rhode Island was the Original Settler?", unpublished, February, 1985.
Even these authors are divided on the question as to whether Thomas was Ralph's son or even a relative. Since there is, to my knowledge, no surviving document from Thomas's day that states that he was Ralph's son and no document that states that Ralph and Joyce had a son named Thomas, (please correct me if I'm wrong here,) these articles deal with probabilities and circumstantial evidence. I doubt there is any actual surviving document proving any children of Ralph and Joyce at all, although the circumstantial evidence suggesting a daughter Mary is compelling to me. Neuhauser, on the other hand, writes that, in her view, the couple probably died childless.
The most compelling argument I have read supporting the view that Thomas was probably Ralph's son has both probabalistic and circumstantial components. Eleanor Cooley Rue and William Saxbe's articles, taken together, could form a basis for this argument. It first suggests that Ralph and Joyce had at least two children: Mary and Thomas, although no actual records exist for Mary Wallen before 1685, as near as I can tell. Rue suggests that Mary married, first, John Ewer who died, and that then it was she (Mary Wallen Ewer) who later married John Jenkins of Barnstable, who refers to himself as the "heir apparent of Ralph Wallen," which is in itself a problematic phrase (unless Ralph really was the son of Henry IV! j/k.) Rue also suggests that the Joyce Lombard of Barnstable is actually Joyce Wallen who, after Ralph's death, married Thomas Lombard/Lumbert of Barnstable, perhaps explaining Mary Wallen's being in Barnstable. The second assertion is that the Thomas Wallen who was arrested with George Way in Plymouth for running off with the wives of two other men was (1) the son of Ralph Wallen and (2) the same Thomas Walwyn/Walling that appears later in Providence. Saxbe asserts that the two are the same basically because they behaved (or, rather, misbehaved) similarly.
The arguments against Ralph being Thomas's father are hardly more convincing. They point out that while Providence's Thomas appears in the literature with a last-name that varies in its spelling (Walwyn, Walwin, Wallin, Walling), Ralph's, Joyce's and Mary's surname never varies. It is always Wallen. Neuhauser researched the Society of Genealogists' collection of parish registers in London and found that while Walwin, Walwyn and other variants appear in significant numbers in Gloucester, Hereford, Worcester and Sussex in addition to Norfolk. The Wallen name and its close variants were most common in Lancashire, London and southwest coast counties. Also troubling is the chronology of the few details we do know about Thomas of Providence, which have led at least one writer (Neuhauser) to suggest that two generations of Thomases are actually required, one being the father of the Thomas Walling we generally regard as the earliest settler. The earliest record of a Thomas Walwyn/Walling is about 1645 in the court records of the Providence Plantation.
At the end of the day (this day, at least) I am left to conclude that while it is possible that Thomas may have been Ralph's son, and it is at least reasonable to suggest that he could have been, such a proposition raises as many questions as it answers. So I am not prepared to assert, nor can I possibly conclude, that Thomas was, in fact, Ralph's son until more information becomes available. And by that I do not mean just another latter-day author, let alone another web-site, saying so.
If anyone reading this knows of more substantial evidence either way, I hope they will share it.
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